The Fertile Tree | Diana Kurniawan

Image: Joshua Cotten

The Fertile Tree

On barren land at the corner

of a long constant highway 

The Good Samaritan guards 

————————-a tree of sparse green leaves

A most desired nesting point 

————————— for the American finch across

this homeland of Colorado

– ————————–A mother of homeless avian

The unmarried tree stands tall

————- – — – —–despite the dry gritty street

Finches flock to this virgin mother

————————- the kindling of all avian children

As the single woman without

———————– – –true love nor a loving partner

The tree reminds of the strength

————————- of women with dignified values

Preserving those around her life

—————- – – – —-with a fecund heart and soulful tears

Valor of hopeful spirit undefeated 

———- ——— —– Spiritual Mother of all children forever

Diana Kurniawan is a poet and writer based in Berthoud, Colorado. With by lines from Denver Life Magazine and Longmont Times Call for non-fiction journalistic pieces, she also previously served as Community Journalist for Denver Voice, a newspaper for the homeless. Recent publications include Twenty Bellows and Sortes Magazine for fiction and Ridgeline Review of Eastern New Mexico University and RawLit for her poetry in Spring 2023.

hoard – anthony lawrence

red trees

editor’s note: this poem was an ekphrasis piece in response to a call SBGS put on twitter for poems inspired from the white house’s very grim choice in christmas decorations as seen above.

Before we understood
that hoarding was included
in the Mental Anguish Act
we kept the tapering trees
in the hallway, their needles
abundant and invisible.
Their cones were ampules
of congealing blood
that broke underfoot like ice
in a poem involving death
under arboreal glass.
Like extras who outstay
their welcome in a scene
where a woodsman taps
his wrist for a pulse,
each tree mapped
it’s own trajectory
from seed to being else-
where in the world.
They grew. Their shadows
were cropped and kept
in specimen jars inside
the pockets of our coats.
We gave them names.
In the one-way flight
manifest we hammered
to the wall, we called
each bleeding specimen
to account, then stripped
them to the bark.
Our hoarding healed,
we went like crime
scene cleaners, gloved
and masked into the stains
light leaves like sutures
in the dark.

red tree 2

Anthony Lawrence often tries to extend the metaphor he lives in into prose, but poetry sets snares at every exit and he returns to the broken line, the phantom rhyme, the image with ‘do not revive’ stamped into its skin. He teaches Creative Writing at a university in a town with high levels of humidity, and lives beside a bay in a Queenslander with a painter, a dingo and a kelpie. Twitter: @tide_inspector